Red Cross: National blood crisis may put patients at risk

 

The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis – its worst blood shortage in more than a decade. Dangerously low blood inventory levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who must wait until more blood products become available. The Red Cross has issued a plea for blood and platelet donors to give now to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments. 

In recent weeks, the Red Cross had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types and has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals as a result of the shortage. At times, as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs are not being met. 

When there’s not enough blood 

Kala Breder knows all too well how dire a blood shortage can be. In July 2020, hours after the birth of her son by emergency Cesarean section, Kala developed a complication and began hemorrhaging. As doctors fought to control her bleeding, the blood supply was exhausted at the hospital and those within a 45-mile radius. Ultimately, she was air lifted to another hospital because there wasn’t enough blood locally.  

Kala credits the 58 different blood products she received with helping save her life. “Without one of those, I probably wouldn’t be here,” she said. “I needed every last unit.”  

Don’t wait – make your appointment to donate!    

Please schedule an appointment now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). If there is not an immediate opportunity to donate, please make an appointment in the days and weeks ahead to ensure the Red Cross can replenish and then maintain a sufficient blood supply. 

Rush in to give blood or platelets Jan. 1-31 and you’ll automatically get a chance to score an exciting Super Bowl LVI getaway in LA for you and a guest! Plus, the Red Cross will give you a shot at a home theater package and $500 e-gift card in January. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information. 

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